Friday, 30 March 2012

Cyber Egg - Battle Champion (Playstation)

It's yet another Playstation game in which cute vehicles have battles in arenas! It's got some interesting things about it that are worth mentioning, though. And I promise the next Playstation game will be something different.
Anyway, in this game, you control small bipedal robots that look kind of like midget fighter jets with limbs attatched. There are four to choose from initially, with a few unlockable ones too (that I haven't unlocked. There's also apparently no instructions for unlocking them anywhere online, either, but I assume it's the usual "complete story mode" deal.) The pilots of these initial four fill the stereotypes you'd expect from such a game: the red robot's pilot is the typical boy protagonist, the black robot has the tough-looking rival, the green robot has the fat guy and the pink robot has the girl. There doesn't seem to be much difference between the four, playing wise, so just pick the colour you like best, I guess.
The main mode of the game is championship mode, and despite what you might have assumed based on the title and the selectable characters, the game is structured more along the lines of Bomberman's single player mode than a fighting game. You enter stages, you have to defeat a bunch of enemies in each stage, and every few stages there's a boss. The interesting thing is that although you have a health bar (and the enemies also have health, though their bars aren't shown, instead blue sparks of electricity can be seen coming off them when their health is low.), you don't die when it's depleted (and neither do the enemies). Instead, the lower you health goes, the further you get knocked back by enemy attacks, and if you fall off the stage, then you lose a life. This seems to be a lot like the way the Smash Bros. games work, though this game predates the first Smash Bros. by over a year! It's almost suspicious how similar the two systems are!
Each stage is a set of small floting platforms, usually with one large on in the middle. If you jump and land on the edges of the largest platform, it'll tilt in your direction! Also, there are items strewn about the steag, plus various destroyable things like machinery and barriers. Small sweets appear around the stage, either from the power-up boxes (in fact, every stage has a box with eight sweets in it), or they sometimes randomly appear when you punch enemies. Each sweet gives you one point, with which you can upgrade your robot between stages.
I think I've said all there is to say about this game now. Although it's not anything special or life-changing, it is a pretty fun game, and even with my puny attention span, it can make 45 minutes go by like no time at all.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Jammin' (C64)

It's been a long time since the last post, hasn't it? The usual excuse applies: I was spending a lot of time playing games that do not fit this blog's remit. I still am spending a lot of time playing those games, in fact! So, in the hopes that it will stop you forgetting about me, I will write about a game I already knew about.
In Jammin', you go about the place collecting musical instruments and taking them to triangles. The world i made up of four colours, and you can only walk on either the colour you're standing on, or the multicoloured diamonds that are on the conveyor belts. If you're stood on one of those diamonds, you can step off onto any colour you like. So, each stage has four musical instruments and for triangle things. You have to go about, using the conveyor belts as transport, and fetch each instrument back to the triangle that's on the same coloured ground as you found the instrument. (What a terribly written sentence!) While you're doing this, musical notes and strange, bow-legged men wander about trying to take the instrument off you. If the musical notes touch you while you're carrying an instrument, it goes back to where you got it. If the bow-legged men touch you while you're carrying an instrument, they run off with it and you have to chase them. If either of them touch you while you're not holding an instrument, they disappear and you get points.
The game is fairly fun to play, but the real reason I like it is that it just has a really nice, friendly atmosphere. While mechanically it's a bit fiddly (though not enough that playing ever feels like a chore), it's best quality is that kind of intangible feeling. I can't say whether that's just me, or if anyone else will have similar feelings while playing it, or even if that's what the designers intended.
Try it, I guess. If you do, tell me how it went. I'm interested.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Gekitotsu Dangan Jidousha Kessen: Battle Mobile (SNES)

This is a strange game. It has the exact same plot as the awesome laserdisc arcade game Road Avenger/Road Blaster FX (Your wife was killed on your wedding day by a gang of Mad Max knock-offs, and you seek revenge in a modified, armoured sports car). It looks like (and is structured like) a shooting game, but you do very little shooting in it. The only shooting you do is firing surface-to-air missiles at helicopters. most of your enemies are motorbikes, cars and other land vehicles, and these guys you dispatch by ramming, either hitting them enough times to make them explode, or more satisfyingly, making them crash into scenery.
You can't just drive into them normally and expect to do damage, though. By pressing the B button and a direction, you charge in that direction with speed and force, in a manner not entirely dissimilar to Ecco the Dolphin's method of attack.
Your health bar constantly (but slowly) depletes, but luckily, health power-ups float down the screen fairly often and you have a limited-use force field (which is also very useful for fighting bosses), so unless you take a lot of hits, you shouldn't need to worry about it.
The stages range from post-apocalyptic-looking desert roads to motorways suspended high above futuristic cities and even a nice drive on a beach. They all look great, and the music is also excellent. In fact, the music and graphics are so good, you'd think this game was on the Mega Drive, rather than the SNES*!
The game is pretty great all-round, in fact. It's neither too hard nor too easy, it's a lot of fun to play and there's not really much else like it.
This is where I normally might say "the only problem is..", but in this case, there isn't any real problems with the game! It's great! Play it!

*Just kidding, SNES fans! Or am I...?

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Reverthion (Playstation)

Reverthion is made by Tecnosoft, who are most famous for the excellent Thunderforce series of shooting games. It isn't a shooting game, though, it's a fighting game. It plays like a simplified version of Virtual On, and also all the robots are shaped (vaguely) like animals.
The animal robots on offer are crab, dove, wasp, spider, butterfly, walrus/turtle thing, shark and dragon-looking thing. There's also a boss robot, who is some kind of centaur/spider/multiwinged angel monster. I don't know if the boss is unlockable in this version, though there is also a Saturn version, in which it is unlockable, according to gameFAQS. And judging by videos of it on youtube, the saturn version has slightly nicer graphics than the Playstation version, too. Not that there's anything wrong with the graphics in this version, they're pretty good considering how early in the Playstation's life it came out. And of course, this being a Tecnosoft game, the music is pretty great too!
Moving on to how the game plays, it plays alright. You move the robots using the old-fashioned swivel and go forward tank controls, and you can also jump, boost and do a barrel roll to either side, and you have an attack button. The are apparently special moves in the game, since the CPU opponents all use them against you, but I have yet to discover how to actually do any of them.
It's a pretty fun game to play, and having animal-shaped robots is a nice gimmick, even though it doesn't really affect how the game plays. That's a wasted opportunity in my opinion, all the robots control pretty much the same, with only their speed and the power of their weapons to differentiate them (and their special moves too, I guess). It would have been cool is the dove, wasp and butterfly could all fly, or if the spider could crawl over obstacles, that kind of thing. But I guess that would have ruined the balance of the game. Speaking of which, choose the crab: his attack is only short range, but it's quick and very powerful. Get in close to your opponent and just destroy their health bar. Until you get to the last boss, who has a force field attack thing that makes the crab useless. Bah.